Businesses “unaware” of child care benefits

Many companies lack awareness of how providing on-site child care services to employees can boost revenues, says a representative of one of the largest for-profit early childhood education centers.

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Kate Jordan-Downs, director of education programs at KinderCare, says many businesses have not been presented with a clear picture of how child care services can improve employee retention and reduce hiring costs.AAEAAQAAAAAAAAJOAAAAJGE5Zjk2MTE5LTg5ZTctNGU3OC05ZWZiLWU3MWRlYTc2ZDdiOQ

Jordan-Downs was speaking on the sidelines of a City Club of Portland lunchtime Friday Forum on barriers to care for pre-school children.

It is widely accepted that child care is often the biggest expense for working families, even topping rent and higher education tuition costs. Oregon is one of the most expensive states for child care services when measured as a proportion of average earnings.

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The issue recently received national attention after Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, proposed a child care tax benefit to ease the cost burden for working families.

In Oregon, KinderCare partners with several businesses to provide on-site child care services, including Daimler Trucks North America, Fred Meyer and OHSU. The provision of on-site care is still a rarity. Most businesses do not provide this service to employees.